As the festive season gets into full swing in the Mother City, those enjoying the end of the year are not taking the City’s attempts to keep beaches alcohol free lightly, with a number of confrontations taking place as a result of alcohol confiscations.
Officers enforcing the City’s rule of keeping beaches booze free over the long weekend were met with hostility as they tried to carry out their duty.
According to the City, two incidents in Muizenberg forced law-enforcement officials to defend themselves with pepper spray while attempting to confiscate illegal booze on a Cape Town beach.
In just the past few days more, than 1 000 units of alcohol have been confiscated with a number of alarming violent responses occurring as a result of confiscations, even leading to arrests due to unwarranted violence from the public.
In the Zandvlei picnic area, more than 60 people attacked officers in response to having their alcohol confiscated, forcing officers to use pepper spray for protection against the crowd. On Monday, a man in Muizenberg was arrested for assaulting an officer who confiscated his alcohol, spokesperson Wayne Dyason told TimesLive.
Another group of 25 bathers attacked officers for confiscating their alcohol behind the civic centre in Muizenberg. Five suspects will appear in court today for crimes related to alcohol confiscations, while a further five bathers – also in Muizenberg – managed to escape the law after attacking a life guard who asked them to swim in the safe bathing area.
According to the City, alcohol played a huge role in all of these incidents and the behaviour of the public was “shocking”.
Today the City’s Law Enforcement Department is finalising the destruction of 11 000 litres of alcohol that was confiscated between December 2, 2018 and May 9, 2019.
The destruction is the final step in the alcohol impoundment process, but is also necessitated to make space in the liquor storage facility for the predicted increase in alcohol confiscations this summer.
Already, between December 1 and 15, City enforcement staff have confiscated 2 339 bottles of alcohol, amounting to 1 379,84 litres. This excludes the tally for impoundments on Reconciliation Day, which is the first ‘priority’ day in terms of festive season enforcement.
When alcohol is confiscated, the owner receives a R500 fine, as well as a receipt outlining exactly what items were confiscated. The liquor is then booked in at the Law Enforcement impound facility, where the owner can reclaim their goods upon payment of the fine and a R650 impoundment release fee.